The Toronto Blue Jays rebuild claimed a somewhat surprising victim Monday as infielder Freddy Galvis was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
Galvis had a very successful, albeit short, tenure in Toronto. The 29-year-old hit .267/.299/.444 with the Blue Jays in 115 games and played solid defence — an all-around performance worth 1.4 Wins Above Replacement.
The Blue Jays undoubtedly become a worse team in the absence of the veteran, but the reasoning for his departure is clear. The club is looking to open up as many shortstop at-bats as possible for Bo Bichette. While Galvis was capable of playing second base, and likely third as well, at-bats there were reserved for Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., respectively.
Perhaps the only eyebrow-raising aspect of the transaction was the fact it came less than two weeks after the trade deadline. While a market for Galvis clearly never developed, it seems unlikely the Blue Jays wouldn’t have been able to get even cash considerations or an extremely longshot prospect for an approximately league-average shortstop with an affordable $5.5 million option for 2020. At the time it was assumed Galvis was valued more for his veteran leadership — especially with Latin American players — more than whatever meagre return he could have mustered in a trade.
Ultimately, this is a piece of business that works for both Galvis and the Blue Jays. The former can get the at-bats his production this season — and track record — warrants. The latter can give Bichette every conceivable opportunity to develop at the highest level.
Outfielder Billy McKinney was added to the 25-man roster to fill Galvis’s spot.
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